Rockets get split with extra inning win
After losing 6-5 at Murfreesboro Central Magnet (MCM) on Monday night, the Forrest Rockets desperately needed a win at home on Tuesday to maintain a good position in the District 12-AA standings.
They got it, but it wasn’t easy as the Rockets fought back to win 6-5 in 10 innings thanks to a game-winning base hit by Ryan Moses.
“It took us a little bit of time there in some extra innings, but I can’t say enough about how this team fought and stayed in this game against a good opponent and never gave up,” Forrest coach Bart Joyce said. “We stayed in striking distance and whenever we got the opportunities we got runs in to tie it and eventually got that winning run in.”
Forrest (10-7, 3-3) is tied for third place with MCM (9-9, 3-3) and Marshall County (7-5, 3-3) in the jammed up district standings, one game behind second place Giles County (10-5, 4-2) and two back of league leader Nolensville (12-7, 5-1).
“It’s great momentum for us going into this weekend,” Joyce said. “We have Summertown tomorrow, tough opponent, and play Hardin County on Thursday, but the main thing is it gives us momentum in the district and gets us rolling into that next district series against Nolensville.”
The Rockets can make some district headway to the top next week as they face Nolensville in a home and away series, beginning Monday at Chapel Hill and Tuesday in Williamson County.
There were plenty of heroes besides Moses Tuesday night, starting with Dylan Eady who came to the mound in the top of the sixth inning with Forrest trailing 5-4.
Eady went on to pitch five innings of no-hit baseball and struck out eight MCM batters to pick up the win for Forrest.
Eady was set up by a nice relief job by Lane Allen, who tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless ball after coming in for starter Grayson Whaley with two-on and two-out in the top of the fourth inning.
“Eady and Lane Allen both did a great job,” Joyce said. “Lane Allen came in and kept us right there where we needed to be and kept us where we could strike at them and tie the game up and Eady came in and was light’s out and kept their hitters at bay to give us an opportunity to come back and get that run.”
Eady also went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and perfect sacrifice bunt that set up Forrest’s second run of the game in the second inning.
Dustin Brashear went 2-for-4, including a huge two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning that rejuvenated the Rockets.
Jaylen Smith was on base three out of his five times up with a base hit and two walks and he scored twice and swiped two bases.
Whaley sailed along with a 2-0 lead after the first three innings as the Rockets pushed across an unearned run in the top of the first inning and J.T. Ferguson knocked in a run in the bottom of the second with a fielder’s choice RBI.
The Tigers got to Whaley in the top of the fifth inning as C.J. Campbell led off with a double and after a lineout to Ferguson in center field, the Rockets fumbled a ball in the outfield.
That opened the floodgates as Jack Smith followed with an RBI single and Matthew McDaniel walked to load the bases.
Hayden Petty tied the game at 2-2 with a single to leftfield before Jaylen Smith snagged a pop-up at short for out number two.
Stephan Laird lashed an RBI single to center to make it 3-2 and an outfield bobble sent the baserunners to second and third.
Allen came in and gave up an RBI single to Patrick Norman before getting out of any further damage on a ground ball to Whaley at third.
The southpaw Allen also escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the fifth inning before Brashear’s double in the home half of the frame made it a one-run contest.
Eady was magnificent from the outset of his winning stint on the hill, striking out the side in order in the top of the sixth inning and only allowing two baserunners the rest of the way with one erased on a double play after a Forrest error in the seventh inning and the other on his lone base on balls on the night to Gage Swanson in the top of the 10th inning.
“It was 5-2 when I came in and everybody was starting to get down,” Eady said. “I knew coming in I had to throw strikes and get outs, no matter what.”
“This baseball team has clawed and fought all year, and we had done everything we could to get a run across this game and I knew if we played seven or 17 innings that we were gonna get that run across at some point.”
Swanson also pitched well, coming on in the bottom of the sixth and holding Forrest scoreless until the fateful bottom of the 10th inning that began with a Brashear base hit up the middle.
Gauge Anderson came in to run for Brashear and the Tigers intentionally walked Blaize Sweeney.
Ethan Mealer came up with a huge base hit, bunt single down the third base line to load the bases for Moses, who just missed winning the game on the next pitch when a rocket went just foul against a pulled up MCM infield.
Two pitches later, Moses drilled a shot through 5-6 hole and Anderson scored standing up to end the game.
“I was thinking getting it in play,” Moses said. “You just have to have a closer eye there and anything close you have to just give it a ride.”
Murfreesboro Central Magnet 000 500 000 0-5 8 3
Forrest 101 020 100 1-6 9 4
MCM: Stephan Laird 2-for-4, Patrick Norman 2-for-5, CJ Campbell 1-for-5, Jack Smith 1-for-5, Matthew McDaniel 1-for-3, Hayden Petty 1-for-4.
RS: Campbell, Michael Polly, Smith, McDaniel, Petty.
BB: Laird, Polly, McDaniel, Gage Swanson.
RBI: Laird, Norman, Smith, Petty.
ROE: Porter Hendrixson, Campbell, Polly.
FC: Campbell, Norman.
GIDP: Jacob Upshaw.
E: Smith 2, Patrick Jones.
LP: Gage Swanson.
Forrest: Dylan Eady 3-for-4, Dustin Brashear 2-for-5, Jaylen Smith 1-for-3, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-3, Ethan Mealer 1-for-5, Ryan Moses 1-for-5.
RS: Jones 2, Eady 2, Devon Aydelot, Gauge Anderson.
BB: Smith 2, JT Ferguson.
FC: Eady, Ferguson, Moses.
ROE: Brashear, Sweeney, Moses.
SAC Bunt: Eady.
SB: Gauge Anderson, Dustin Brashear, Dylan Eady, JT Ferguson, Jaylen Smith 2.
E: Smith, Sweeney, Ferguson, Brett Burnham.
DP: Grayson Whaley, Burnham, Brashear.
WP: Dylan Eady (5IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 8K, 1BB), Grayson Whaley (3.2IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 2K, 2BB), Lane Allen (1.1IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 1BB).
Monday, April 9 at Murfreesboro Central Magnet
Forrest 001 022 0-5 9 3
MCM 311 100 X-6 8 0
Forrest: Dylan Eady 2-for-3, Drew Daughrity 2-for-3, Dustin Brashear 1-for-3, J.T. Ferguson 1-for-4, Jaylen Smith 1-for-2, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-4, Grayson Whaley 1-for-3.
RS: Eady 2, Justin Gillespie, Ferguson, Smith.
BB: Smith 2.
2B: Eady 2, Smith, Daughrity.
RBI: Ferguson 2, Smith 2, Sweeney.
SB: Brashear, Sweeney.
Team LOB: 7
E: Brett Burnham 2, Sweeney.
LP: Dustin Brashear (6IP, 8H, 6R, 4ER, 7K, 1BB).
MCM: Porter Hendrixson 2-for-4, Stephan Laird 1-for-3, Patrick Norman 1-for-3, C.J. Campbell 1-for-3, Jacob Upshaw 1-for-3, Jack Smith 1-for-3, Hayden Petty 1-for-3.
RS: Hendrixson, Norman, Campbell, Smith, Petty, N.A.
BB: Matthew McDaniel.
2B: Norman, Smith.
RBI: Campbell 3, Norman.
ROE: Laird, Smith.
Team LOB: 4
WP: Patrick Norman (7IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 7K, 2BB).